Last week, Hamas representative Ahmed Yousef wrote an open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, praising him for his much-publicized anti-Israel diatribe while sitting on a panel with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Turkey’s increasingly warm ties with Hamas have weakened its image as a credible mediator in the Middle East. The Hamas letter is only the most recent event to underscore this. Erdogan recently called upon the UN to ban Israel and Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul stated that Israel’s Gaza operation made him “ashamed on behalf of humanity.”
Turkey expert Soner Cagaptay notes that Turkey’s anti-Israel rhetoric is unprecedented and dangerous on other levels. Indeed, Ankara’s Islamist rhetoric may jeopardize relations with the United States, and even Turkey’s long-sought admittance into the European Union.